The Case for the (New) $100 Cheesesteak

We're not sure how this one slipped under our radar. Stephen Wambach, who opened the critically acclaimed Epic in Chicago, has turned up at Stephen Starr's Barclay Prime as the new Executive Chef. Wambach's Epic was named one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants in 2010, and before that he was the Corporate Chef for Laurent Tourondel's BLT Restaurant Group in New York City.

Chef Wambach has updated Barclay Prime's menu with 14 new dishes, including his own re-imagination of the buzzy $100 Cheesesteak, which first debuted in 2004.

"I really wanted to make sure it felt like a sandwich, and with the fat content, it needed a stronger base," says Wambach. "It may be considered a stunt food, but I want the person ordering it to actually think it's a good sandwich, price tag and all."

Wambach's version is served on a heartier grilled ciabatta and is topped with Kobe ribeye, val d'aosta fontina, a hearty slab of foie gras terrine and fresh shaved summer truffle. As always it is served with a bottle of Moet White Star Champagne.

For the rest of the menu, Wambach said they will update it much more often than the last overhaul, which was six years ago.

"Yeah, it needed to be done, and I plan on staying on top of it," says Wambach. "I'm adding a bunch of new stuff for summer, that will be much brighter and have good bite and acidity, like the striped bass with artichokes."

Wambach's efforts will be a shot in the arm to the restaurant that was once the crown jewel in the Starr organization, but has gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle. Click on the link to peruse the new menu, and we strongly suggest popping your head in to see what Chef Wambach is all about. [The Feast]

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